Switching Antidepressant Class Does Not Improve Response or Remission in Treatment-Resistant Depression

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Abstract

Objective:

The management of treatment-resistant depression is a much debated issue. In particular, the evidence supporting the commonly suggested sequential use of antidepressants from 2 different pharmacological classes is weak.

Objective:

This retrospective study was undertaken to investigate whether there is a better response in nonresponders switched to a different class of antidepressants (across-class) compared with nonresponders switched to an antidepressant from the same class (within-class).

Methods:

Three hundred forty patients with primary major depressive disorder were recruited in the context of a European multicenter project. Subjects whose current depressive episode had failed to respond to a first antidepressant trial of adequate dose and duration were included.

Results:

There was no significant difference in response or remission rates between the across-class and within-class groups after controlling for possible confounders.

Conclusions:

In depressed nonresponders to a previous antidepressant treatment, switching to a different class of antidepressants was not associated with a better response or remission rate.

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